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Old 12-26-2011, 09:42 AM
 
20,274 posts, read 17,922,507 times
Reputation: 2820
Default Welcome Lhotshampa!

Courtesy of Burgh Diaspora:

For refugees, leaving California a gamble - Inside Bay Area

To give a little background, starting in the late 1980s a large number of the minority Nepalese-origin Bhutanese (Lhotshampa) were exiled from Bhutan, forcing them to live in refugee camps in Nepal. Repatriation discussions have proven fruitless, and since 2008 many of the refugees have been allowed to immigrate to the United States as part of a UN-led resettlement effort (the U.S. agreed to accept up to 60,000 refugees in total):

Bhutanese refugees - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Originally they were sent all over the United States, including some to Pittsburgh. Here is an interview from back in August with a Lhotshampa family that had resettled in Pittsburgh:

"We were like birds with nowhere to land." | Sampsonia Way Magazine - Celebrating Literary Freedom of Expression

Anyway, according to the above article from California, it appears Pittsburgh is starting to get a leading reputation as a place where those refugees can come for reasonable job prospects and a favorable cost of living (an understandable conclusion in light of the statistics we have often discussed here). The notion is that many of the Lhotshampa that started elsewhere in the U.S. may find their way here.

So assuming it is true even more Lhotshampa have or will soon be arriving in the area, I just want to note that I think we should make them welcome, and I personally will be looking forward to seeing how they contribute to the area (economically, culturally, and so on).
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Old 12-26-2011, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Athens, GA (via Pittsburgh, PA)
9,560 posts, read 8,069,935 times
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I agreez.
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Old 12-26-2011, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh PA
1,128 posts, read 953,113 times
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I hope that the trend continues. Immigrants are what made the country great, and I would love to see one of them be the next Andrew Carnegie and create many jobs for the region. Thanks for the post Brian, always great to read good news about Pittsburgh
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Old 12-26-2011, 04:51 PM
 
Location: ELFS
4,607 posts, read 2,994,882 times
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Works for me.
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Old 12-26-2011, 05:17 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
3,806 posts, read 3,302,333 times
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This started almost a decade age when a group of Somalians moved to the region as refugees and I think there were Bosnian that moved to the South Hills area in the late 90's too as refugees. It will be interesting to see if this trend increases in the area.
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Old 12-26-2011, 05:43 PM
 
Location: Syracuse IS Central New York.
8,246 posts, read 2,099,683 times
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I saw this thread, and although I do not live in the Pittsburgh area, I can tell you a great deal about the Bhutanese/Nepali refugees as my church is sponsoring a refugee family. Essentially, they are stateless. Bhutan exiled them in the early 1990's, Nepal established the camps at that point, but neither country seems to want them. The people have been living in refugee camps for nearly 20 years, including their children who have never known any life other than that of in the refugee camps. Their lives back in the camps were not pleasant as I am learning from first hand accounts and they are very excited about coming to the US. They seem to truly appreciate and love the opportunities this land can offer them.

From what I have seen they are great people! Very industrious, family oriented. They are very interested in getting educated, getting jobs, buying homes. They tend to be cooperative. When someone comes back from shopping, everybody---and I mean everybody, friends, neighbors, acquaintances come from every direction to help unload the car.

Everytime I visit their apartment, I am offerred tea. We would call it a chai tea, but they refer to it as "chia". Highly recommend it, it's a sweet milk tea with spices, very creamy, frothy almost like hot chocolate. Lately, I've been going into the kitchen and we're doing English/Nepali translations of food.

If you ever get the opportunity to interact with the Bhutanese/Nepali refugees, do it. You'll not regret it.
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:22 AM
 
1,158 posts, read 983,415 times
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Thanks for sharing Brian! I have already had the pleasure of meeting some of the rufugees as there are many who live on my block. They wear the most beautiful, colorful clothing and is the reason why I struck up conversation with them and found out where they came from.
There are a string of churches in the North Boros who are actively working together to help this population group get resettled here. I am sure many more will follow as they get more settled in , but I'm hoping with the current rental crunch that doesn't lead to becoming too cost prohibitive to be able to live affordably here.

Another concern is the ability to find jobs that are located along public transit routes.
This is the worst timing for PAT to be cutting service right when we are getting an influx of new immigration-Grrr!
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:47 AM
 
4,633 posts, read 4,489,177 times
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This is good news...and yes the PAT mess will need to be rectified if Pittsburgh is successful at attracting immigrants...We need Public Transit to "GROW" not Recess. We Need the TDP to get back on track, as well as start to implement more reverse commuting transit.
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:41 AM
 
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Thanks for the personal stories!

It is a shame they were rendered stateless, but those countries' losses will be our gain.
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh PA
1,128 posts, read 953,113 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
Thanks for the personal stories!

It is a shame they were rendered stateless, but those countries' losses will be our gain.
Very true, one doesn't have to look much farther than NAZI Germany losing Albert Einstein to the USA for a good success story. I am hoping that our government is welcoming to the immigrants that we are getting in the region so we can actually begin to grow again
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